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Best Unique Signs of 2010

A gallery of winners from the International Sign Contest’s Unique Signs category

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FIRST PLACE

Fabricator
Murphy Catton Inc.
Walton, KY
(859) 485-6761
www.murphycatton.com

Designer
RhodesWorks Ltd.
Champaign, IL
(217) 398-4512
www.rhodesworksltd.com

Client
City of Evansville, IN

Evansville, IN’s city fathers selected Murphy Catton to posthumously honor Shirley James, who championed local environmental and conservation-related causes from her arrival in Evansville in 1975 until her death in 2007. The Shirley James Gateway Plaza’s interpretive graphics depict Evansville’s transportation history through six, 25 x 6-ft. panels amidst the park’s bike trails – fitting, given her longtime advocacy for a city-wide bike path. Because of the panels’ top-heavy design and irregular shape, Murphy Catton sank eight anchor bolts per statue into the ground and welded them to a ½-in.-thick base covered with 10 in. of concrete to ensure they wouldn’t bow and succumb to gravity. The shop built the entire sculpture from 304-grade stainless steel to withstand harsh weather conditions.

 

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SECOND PLACE

Fabricator
YESCO
Las Vegas
(702) 876-8080
www.yesco.com

Designers
Adolfo R. Gonzalez
YESCO/Diversified
Expressions

Clients
Nevada Dept. of Law
Enforcement
City of Las Vegas
Las Vegas Arts
Commission

In Las Vegas, everything must be oversized to make a splash. YESCO complied with the fabrication of this 26 x 15-ft. tribute to Nevada’s police officers killed in the line of duty. YESCO built the base’s metal frame with a black-slate overlay with blue-LED strips that YESCO produced in house. The towers incorporate seamless, metal frames with brushed-aluminum overlays. The torches comprise aluminum with a proprietary paint designed to simulate rust, with inset, uplighting lamps that create flame-like illumination, with a red LED neon strip for additional pop. Gonzalez and YESCO co-workers collaborated on devising the eagle, which features an inner steel frame, an aluminum skin, painted features and a clearcoat. The shield comprises routed steel coated with automotive-grade paint, and the American flag incorporates welded-steel bands painted with a faux-rust coating.

 

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THIRD PLACE

Fabricator
Snyder Signs
Johnson City, TN
(423) 282-6221
www.snydersigns.com

Designers
Ted Tubbs
Snyder Signs

Thompson & Litton Architects
Bristol, TN
(423) 989-9491
www.t-l.com

Client
Bristol (TN/VA) Chamber of Commerce

Given the region’s proud distinction as “The Birthplace of Country Music,” the Chamber of Commerce that serves the adjoining cities of Bristol, VA and TN fittingly chose a mammoth, 22-ft.-tall, guitar-shaped monument to celebrate the organization’s centennial anniversary. The shop assembled the body using 0.125-in. roll-formed aluminum cut to shape with a Techno LC CNC router. The fretboard comprises ¼-in.-thick, aluminum plate cut to shape with a Universal Laser cutter. For the guitar’s strings, the shop selected aircraft cable, which makes a melodic sound when “strummed,” Snyder operations manager Randy Holland said.

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HONORABLE MENTION

Fabricator
Stoner Graphix
Hummelstown, PA
(717) 469-7716
www.stonergraphix.com

Designer
Stoner Graphix


Client

The Hershey Co.
 

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